Coaches and Staff

Nathan Truesdell, Director | Figure Skating | Afro-Latin | Music Editor

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Nathan Truesdell is the founding director of IDANC, a premier ice dance academy. His vision is to bring more authenticity and appreciation to competitive figure skating through education.

Nathan brings 25+ years of experience in elite competitive figure skating. He specializes in ice dance, choreography, moves in the field, and power/edges, with a strong emphasis on skating skills, musicality, and movement quality. His students have competed at the US Figure Skating Championships, US Adult Figure Skating Championships, US National Solo Dance Series, international competitions representing Team USA, and earned US National medals. He facilitates engaged training by augmenting on-ice work with off-ice strengthening and conditioning, various dance classes, and education on the rhythms and dances used in figure skating. Nathan also incorporates his lifelong passion for music—He has been editing music for 10+ years for skaters and dancers of various disciplines.

Nathan was born in Ann Arbor, MI, where he began skating at the age of 8. From his first private lesson, he has trained under World and Olympic coaches. Throughout his time in the sport, he has earned a US National medal, competed internationally, and became the highest placing African-American ice dancer at the US Figure Skating Championships. Nathan is also the first African-American figure skating coach/choreographer to produce US Champions and Team USA athletes in ice dancing. Off the ice, Nathan strives to make the global figure skating community a welcoming and healthy environment for all—he has served in the following capacities:

  • Professional Skaters Association Board of Governors
  • Member of the US Figure Skating Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Working Group
  • Member of the US Center for Coaching Excellence Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee
  • Member and chair of the Professional Skaters Association Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee
  • Board member of Diversify Ice Fellowship & Foundation

Nathan is also recipient of the 2021 Professional Skaters Association President’s Award of Excellence. The President’s Award of Excellence recognizes exceptional grassroots coaches in all disciplines, for their positive contributions to the sport of figure skating. In addition to his passion for figure skating, he also performs and instructs Afro-Latin dance.

USFS, PSA, CER Certified

“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”

Leslie Cao, Marketing and Operations | Afro-Latin | Hip-Hop Inspired Choreography

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Leslie Cao supports marketing and operations — her experience includes digital marketing strategy, social media content creation, project management, video production, photography, and design. She assists with IDANC’s web development and social channels, develops long-term planning and strategy, and ensures optimal business practices for efficiency. 

Leslie wears multiple hats and has extensive training in hip hop, commercial choreography, and Afro-Latin dance. She started out on two dance teams in college and served as the Artistic Director on Moonlight Dance Crew. She spent her summers training at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and Movement Lifestyle in Los Angeles. In addition, she has traveled all over the US and regularly taken workshops and intensives with heavy hitting commercial dance choreographers including Galen Hooks, Luther Brown, Luam Keflezgy, and Rhapsody James. She currently performs and instructs Afro-Latin dance and Hip-Hop inspired choreography.  

Leslie was born and raised in Wilmington, NC and graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Communications and Advertising.